I would like to take this opportunity to be able to share what I know as a citizen of Davao City, Philippines since birth. President Rodrigo Duterte or what most of us refer to as Papa Digong, has been the mayor of our city for as long as I can remember. I was born on the year 1994 and I admit that I have come to care as to who our mayor is only by the time I reached elementary.
Many have criticized his ways of governing the Philippines since hailed President. Many questioned how he talks and acts on national television and others tried to criticize every little thing he does.
I would not like to talk about anything political (for now) but I’d like to talk about my personal experience living here in our city.
Our city is not perfect; it has its up and downs; numerous criminals and many other negative things, but one thing is for sure, our city is SAFE. It isn’t safe just because people are vigilant (although that helps), but because we Davaoeños have been trained to follow the rules set by our beloved Mayor (now President). Many have questioned the years he governed our city, often calling it as monarchy, but it isn’t what others think. He was there because we asked him to.
He set rules not because he wants to, but for the welfare of his family. By family, it means US, his people.
One of the many things I am thankful for is the 10 p.m curfew for late-night karaoke sessions. No one is allowed to sing past this time in order for the people to have a peaceful sleep. Isn’t that great? We don’t have to go to work the next morning with puffy eyes because of our next neighbor singing their hearts out with Celine Dion’s song My heart will go on or Frank Sinatra’s infamous song My Way.
Next is the 2 a.m liquor ban (only for commercial establishments or bars). Customers may order their desired liquors up until 1 p.m but must consume before 2. Men in uniform will start roaming around the bar ensuring this is strictly followed. TRUST ME! Being quite the day type of girl, if my heart has its own set of legs, it would’ve probably left my chest in a heartbeat seeing them roaming around the bar we are in. I was with my boyfriend and it was the first time I got to experience it. (Just this year despite it being implemented for a long time already) It was then that I’ve come to further admire Papa Digong’s authority over his men and the respect they have for him. I can say that it’s not just because they fear him, but because they respect HIM. ( I do too! Hands down!)
Another one is the smoking ban. For someone who has asthma and quite a delicate immune system, you don’t how much I am elated when this was implemented. I’ve recently read that the ordinance has been formally signed, but I am quite sure that this has been strictly followed in our city for years now. You won’t see anyone smoking in the streets (unless they’re within their personal vicinity) nor do you see drivers smoking even when the traffic light turns red.
Lastly, what I admire most is President Rodrigo Duterte himself. I do not know him personally, but his love for our city is well known and felt. Being a mere and regular citizen, I have felt it. We do not care if he curses nor threatens people on national television because that is his way of expressing his emotions. He has his ways, with which we are thankful.
When you visit our city, you do not have to worry walking around mid-morning, afraid someone might try to kill you, steal your things or if someone grabs and rapes you. Our city is a peaceful place. Albeit, crimes are not inevitable, compared to others, our home is a better place to live in.
Once again, this is coming from a regular citizen, from my own and other people’s experiences. It’s just sad that other people sees him as a bad person focusing on his “mistakes” but did not try to observe the changes and the peace he gave to our city. Nevertheless, we are thankful to those who gives him support, for those foreigners who can see him as a good leader, because we feel the same way.
**Photos are not mine; courtesy of searching images from Google.